Sunday 18 November 2018

This man sat beside a portrait for a year only to find it was a distant relative

Benjamin Hammond found a distant relative on his family tree… only to discover he had seen him many times before.

Man finds portrait of distant relative in library
Man finds portrait of distant relative in library

By Emily Chudy, Press Association

This student is going viral for uncovering an incredible coincidence from his family tree.

The painting he had sat beside while studying at Oxford University’s library all year turned out to be a distant relative.

Benjamin Hammond posted on Reddit explaining his discovery, saying: “I found a painting of my great (x8) grandfather… The next day in the library, I realised I had been sitting underneath him this whole time.”

For the past year, I’ve been sitting under a painting of a man in my university library. I’ve also been researching my family-tree online, where I found a painting of my great (x8) grandfather – Joseph Trapp. The next day in the library, I realised I had been sitting underneath him this whole time. from pics

Hammond began researching his family tree a few years ago, but only made the discovery after starting at Oxford University and studying in the same spot at Bodleian Library for a year.

He found out that his great (x10) grandfather, as well as his son, grandson and great-grandson were students at Oxford University.

He said: “I managed to find out… Joseph Trapp (1679-1747) was a distinguished scholar here, and was the first Professor of Poetry at Oxford.

“The next day, I woke up and got ready to go to the Bodleian as usual. Upon my arrival, I picked up my book, and just as I was walking towards the corner of the room, I noticed that the painting under which I had previously sat and worked was the painting of Joseph Trapp (1679-1747), my great (x8) grandfather.

“I was completely taken aback to learn that I had been working underneath a painting of my great (x8) grandfather for so long whilst being completely oblivious to it.”

The fascinating post now has over 64,000 upvotes on Reddit.

Hammond said: “Most people seem to love the story… Some have observed that I look similar to Joseph, and suggested that he might have been ‘watching over me’ as I studied.

“Overall, its been a delightful experience, and its made my studies that bit more exciting. I feel a bit more comfortable in Oxford – a naturally intimidating place – now that I know that four of my great-grandfathers walked the same halls and studied the same concepts as me.”

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News